Josephine Cochran (March 8, 1839, Ashtabula County, Ohio - August 14, 1913) was the inventor of the first commercially successful hand-powered dishwasher which was constructed together with mechanic George Butters.
Early life Josephine was the daughter of John Garis, a civil engineer, and Irene Fitch Garis. Her grandfather, John Fitch, was an steamboat inventor. She was raised in Valparaiso, Indiana, where she went to private school.
Marriage Josephine married William Cochran on October 13, William was a politician and merchant. They moved to Shelby County, Illinois. Her husband died when she was 44 years old, which motivated her to go through with developing the dishwasher. She kept William's last name but added the "e" after his death.
While Cochrane had servants to do dishes, the amount of chipping manual washing caused led her to seek a mechanical solution. She also wanted to relieve tired housewives from the duty of washing dishes after a meal.
Cochrane's dishwasher Josephine designed the first model of her dishwasher in behind her house in Illinois. George Butters was a mechanic who assisted her. She showed her invention at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and won the highest prize. The word spread, and soon after, Cochrane was getting orders for her dish washing machine from restaurants and hotels in Illinois. She patented her design and went into production. The factory business, Garis-Cochran, began in 1897.
In 1950s dishwashers became a typical household item. These early dishwashers required a great amount of hot water, so houses had to be modified for this new technology with the proper plumbing.
Death Josephine died of a stroke in Chicago on August 14, 1913, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Illinois.